There are things that I love, and experiences that I enjoy and I would like to share them. As most of my list are free or cheap, my list of “indulgences” differs from every other celebrity’s list on the Interwebs.
I love a warm seat on the sofa after husband/child/cat/dog vacate the spot. Pre-warmed seats on the sofa are a pleasure — a surprising comfort, and the pinnacle of relaxation that begins immediately as I snuggle down in them.
Fresh baked bread and peeled oranges. This is the advice realtors give to home sellers, because those two smells are so delicious/homey/comforting. I would add vanilla scent to it, because it’s such a warm, cozy scent — this is another reason people bake cookies or burn vanilla-scented candles to help sell their houses. Then, the house smells like a home where there is love — an idealized version of how a home should smell.
I love watching foreign movies, sipping hot tea, and enjoying a sandwich. This is a trifecta for me — movies, sweet-steaming tea, plus eating equals happiness. Throw in a chocolate-chip-walnut cookie for dessert and a pre-warmed seat on the sofa … why would I ever leave my house?!?
I love taking a very deliberate walk. I usually walk with walking sticks, which help exercise the arms and improve balance. But it’s the slow, deliberate walk that can work as meditation for me. Once I overcome initial ego resistance, I notice EVERYTHING around me, how the wind feels, how the sun warms, how the soles of my feet feel as they touch the ground, bird songs from the trees. This is actually more difficult than a regular walk, but worth it.
Like many people, I am a lover of tactile interaction — the right texture for the right things. I love the feel of soft yarn and smooth wood. About 20 years ago, I was leaving a swanky mall. I walked through Macy’s, very high-end department store, and noticed a display of ties. What caught my attention was the price tag — they were on sale for $300. Three hundred dollars for a tie? I guffawed out loud. Then I ran my hands over the silk ties. Oh. My. God! It was like running my hands over melting butter. I stopped, and began gently fondling the ties that were in muted colors. Reds, blues, greens, all understated, not in-your-face bright, but the feel of them! I still would never, ever pay that kind of money for a relatively useless piece of cloth whose only function is for work and schmancy parties, even if I did have that kind of money to throw away. At that point, it would be purely the principle of the thing. But if I could have stood there, touching ties inappropriately for a few more hours, I would have. Am I advocating you doing the same? Sure. It’s free. Just try to have clean hands, and then sanitize heavily after — you never know who sneezed or coughed on them beforehand. And try not to make noises, as it may creep-out other shoppers.
I do love humming and whistling. It’s tougher to whistle while wearing a mask, and whistling inside one’s own house is bad luck (yes, it is another one weird Russian superstition), but inside or outside it’s open season on humming. Within reason, of course, since people can get surprisingly touchy when you hum the Barber of Seville tune at the top of your nose. But nothing says, “I’m carefree!” like a good hum and it’s nearly impossible to be depressed while whistling the theme from Scooby Doo.
When all else fails, a good self-hug (especially now, when hugging self is the only kind of hug a lot of people can get) can make you feel stronger, like you’re up to the challenge of enduring today. Sometimes, you are the only person in your own corner. So, you can and should say, “I love me,” to yourself, and give yourself a big hug, and if that’s too difficult, go with “I like myself,” and hug away. I promise it’ll give you a measure of comfort.